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is 5.1/2 still a thing?

peter the butcher

Peter The Butcher
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  1. No
I made the decision to "get back into Hi Fi" 4 years ago nearly, so I found a dealer near me that was recommended (Analogue Seduction). I gave the chap there a budget and what I was looking for (and the room it was going in), and he put together the 5.1 Anthem MRX520 amp. It did everything I wanted (and still do). Since then I have upgraded the music side to dac/pre and power amps from PS Audio, and upgraded from my 1st sub, a bk, to a Rel S 8/12 and then added another last week. I am happy with the sound, and watch a blu ray now and again, but do Neflix/Amazon/Disney every night. Had a thought about upgrading the Anthem, but can I find a simple 5.1/2 amp anywhere... No, they are all multi speaker ones. Seems like I am stuck with the Anthem A/V amp forever
 

peter the butcher

Peter The Butcher
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I was going to suggest the Marantz NR1610 Available from under£400 to £650(R.R.P.).
https://www.marantz.com/en-gb/product/av-receivers/nr1510, but it would possibly be a step down from the Anthem. If you’re wanting the two subs out, what difference does it make if you don’t use all the “other” speaker outs?.🤔
seems like a waste of money, having multiple speaker outputs and amplifiers that will never be used (all speaker I use are single terminals)
 

jkbmusic

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  1. Yes
seems like a waste of money, having multiple speaker outputs and amplifiers that will never be used (all speaker I use are single terminals)
I suppose it could be classed as a waste of money if you never intend to go beyond 5.1. I‘d prefer to think of some kit being “future proof”, as much as any kit can be. However with the continuing advancement in technology, A/V Amplifiers have progressed to 7.1, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, 13.2, and probably many other combinations. Then there are various image quality outputs such as Dolby, 3D, HDR, 4K, 8K, etc.
 
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hiacedrifter

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I suppose it could be classed as a waste of money if you never intend to go beyond 5.1. I‘d prefer to think of some kit being “future proof”, as much as any kit can be. However with the continuing advancement in technology, A/V Amplifiers have progressed to 7.1, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, 13.2, and probably many other combinations. Then there are various image quality outputs such as Dolby, 3D, HDR, 4K, 8K, etc.

My current AV amp (Marantz sr7010) only uses the rear 2 speaker outputs, no centre, and the front 2 channels get diverted to the main hifi. I use one input (blu ray player). So LOTS of unused sockets/channels/amps but I think it is par for the course. Probably cheaper to include all the bells and whistles than make a stripped back version. I did have an Anthem once which was almost exactly what I needed (MRX510 i think), but as you say even Anthem now have 11+ channels. I would keep the Anthem until it breaks, as I don't think you'd get better 5.1 surround without spending £000s.

I wonder how many people use more than 5.1 surround - I bought my first 7.1 surround amp in 2002... never have gone to 7.1 speakers, let alone 11+!!!
 

dalryc

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Jan 4, 2016
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I made the decision to "get back into Hi Fi" 4 years ago nearly, so I found a dealer near me that was recommended (Analogue Seduction). I gave the chap there a budget and what I was looking for (and the room it was going in), and he put together the 5.1 Anthem MRX520 amp. It did everything I wanted (and still do). Since then I have upgraded the music side to dac/pre and power amps from PS Audio, and upgraded from my 1st sub, a bk, to a Rel S 8/12 and then added another last week. I am happy with the sound, and watch a blu ray now and again, but do Neflix/Amazon/Disney every night. Had a thought about upgrading the Anthem, but can I find a simple 5.1/2 amp anywhere... No, they are all multi speaker ones. Seems like I am stuck with the Anthem A/V amp forever
I'd consider 5.1/2 as multi-speaker but I guess you refer to more channels than what you have speakers for.
I thought those "multi channel" amps could sense what speakers are connected and divert power accordingly, so you are only wasting speaker terminals rather than power?
 
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Paul Marsh

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I'm up to 9.1 now, though not at Atmos, yet, the room athough ok, would be too much for Atmos, but now the front speakers are now mono bloc'd as well as the centre. I like the sound anyway, suppose one system may sound good for one, not for another, and vice-versa.
 
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Lawrence001

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I'd consider 5.1/2 as multi-speaker but I guess you refer to more channels than what you have speakers for.
I thought those "multi channel" amps could sense what speakers are connected and divert power accordingly, so you are only wasting speaker terminals rather than power?
No each channel with have a power circuit so it can't literally divert the output but it will reduce the power used and therefore the others should go a bit louder.

I used to use a Denon 7.1 as a 5.1 and you could use the unused ones to biamp the fronts so it wasn't a waste
 

joleyami

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Jan 15, 2014
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I made the decision to "get back into Hi Fi" 4 years ago nearly, so I found a dealer near me that was recommended (Analogue Seduction). I gave the chap there a budget and what I was looking for (and the room it was going in), and he put together the 5.1 Anthem MRX520 amp. It did everything I wanted (and still do). Since then I have upgraded the music side to dac/pre and power amps from PS Audio, and upgraded from my 1st sub, a bk, to a Rel S 8/12 and then added another last week. I am happy with the sound, and watch a blu ray now and again, but do Neflix/Amazon/Disney every night. Had a thought about upgrading the Anthem, but can I find a simple 5.1/2 amp anywhere... No, they are all multi speaker ones. Seems like I am stuck with the Anthem A/V amp forever
I would stick with what you have. Anthem is great kit and I doubt you will improve upon Sound Quality unless you spend a shed load of money.
I have 7.2.4 atmos, but to be honest, some of the Dolby Surround 5.1 stuff still sounds great and has me looking round the room.
Plus most streaming series are still mainly 5.1.
Good shout adding the extra sub though.
 

peter the butcher

Peter The Butcher
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Aug 19, 2020
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Peter Allison
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I would stick with what you have. Anthem is great kit and I doubt you will improve upon Sound Quality unless you spend a shed load of money.
I have 7.2.4 atmos, but to be honest, some of the Dolby Surround 5.1 stuff still sounds great and has me looking round the room.
Plus most streaming series are still mainly 5.1.
Good shout adding the extra sub though.
As the Anthem amp was quite an expensive purchase for me, ( well my late dad), I plan on running it until it gives up the ghost. As regards the other sub, it was one of my better hi fi buying decisions 😁
 
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Tintinabulum

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  1. No
Meridian kit is cheap as chips second hand, you can built a stunning 5.1 system for a very modest sum.
 

Pressure

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The MRX 520 is still a fabulous amp. Anthem room correction is still excellent. If you’re happy with 5.1 / 5.2 then stick with it.

Atmos is really fun and for my money worth the upgrade but YMMV. I run a 5.1.4 atmos system with upfiring speakers and it works fairly well. I don’t use all the channels on my AVR either. Atmos upmixing can be worthwhile too. But if you don’t fancy it, don’t worry about it.
 

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